Introduction

In my quest for the ideal alternative to Evernote, I’ve been assessing numerous note-taking apps. This evaluation is just one aspect of a broader project aimed at comparing various note-taking platforms. For further details, feel free to explore this post: Finding the perfect alternative for Evernote.

Assessment Google Keep

Google Keep is a popular note-taking app known for its appealing features, but it can seem rather rudimentary compared to more robust platforms like Evernote or Microsoft OneNote. One of its main strengths is its user-friendly interface, making it easy to quickly jot down notes, create checklists, and set reminders. These features, along with its integration with the Google ecosystem, make it a convenient choice for users who rely on other Google services.

However, Google Keep has several limitations. Its organizational features are basic, lacking support for nested folders or advanced tagging, which can be a significant drawback for those with extensive note collections. The app’s formatting options are also limited, offering only the most essential text formatting capabilities. Additionally, the desktop version requires an internet connection, as it does not support offline access.

Exporting notes is restrictive as well, primarily integrating with Google Docs, which can be very, very inconvenient for users who want to migrate their notes to other platforms. The exit strategy means another drama, and will take a lot of time to convert to another platform. Unfortunately, this is even worse than other platforms.

Overall, it feels more like a note-taking app where you can make a few personal notes on the fly, mainly from your mobile phone. For grocery shopping, for example. But for power users or business use, it definitely falls short and is inadequate.

PROS

  • It’s free, as in you pay by giving up your privacy
  • User-Friendly Interface: Google Keep has a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to quickly jot down notes, create checklists, and set reminders.
  • Collaboration Features: Supports real-time collaboration, allowing users to share notes and lists with others
  • Voice Notes and Image Recognition: Offers the ability to record voice notes and transcribe them automatically. It also supports image recognition, allowing users to extract text from images, which is useful for capturing information from documents or whiteboards.

CONS

  • Limited Organization Options: Google Keep lacks advanced organizational features like nested folders or tags. While it supports labels and color-coding, this may not be sufficient for power users.
  • Basic Formatting: The formatting options are quite basic compared to other note-taking apps. Users can create lists and add checkboxes, but advanced text formatting like different fonts, text sizes, or embedded files are not available.
  • No Offline Access on Desktop: While the mobile app supports offline access, the web version requires an internet connection. This can be a drawback for users who need to access their notes from a computer without internet.
  • Limited Export Options: Exporting notes is somewhat limited, primarily offering integration with Google Docs.
Topic Score (1-10)
Product  3,3
Platform support 5,5
Characteristics vendor/product 4,7
Functionality 4,2
Integrations 1
Personal evaluation 1

Criteria

  • Product
  • Platform
  • Characteristics
  • Functionality
  • Integrations
  • Personal
  • Supplier: Google
  • Product/service: Free account
  • Part of (suite or package deal): Packaged deal
  • Depending on (suite or package deal): Packaged deal
Platform Score Remarks
Apple iOS 10 Full app support
Android 10 Full app support
Windows 1 Not available
MacOS 1 Not available
Linux 1 Not available
WebApp 10 Full app support
Topic Score Remarks
Open-Source 1 Fully closed source
Vendor lock-in 1 Export is only manually supported
Reputation confidentiality 10 OK reputation, if you properly secure your account.
Reputation integrity 5 There are indications that this platform is not always reliable [2][3][4]
Reputation availability 5 Good uptime but limited offline support
Reputation privacy 1 Does not have the best reputation [5]
Reputation pricing developments 10 Steady but perhaps undervalued
Topic Score Remarks
Capacity, max. number notes 10 Practically unlimited
Capacity, max GB 10 15 GB (theoretically but shared)
Offline access 1 Requires internet given all platforms
Folder structure 1 Not available
Tags 1 Labels, but not equivalent
Photo’s and camera (app) 5 Supported on certain platforms
Other files (pdf, zip, etc) 1 Not supported
Version history 10 Fully supported
External sharing 10 Fully supported
Create tasks from notes 1 Reminders supported but no task creation
Support handwritten notes 1 Not supported
Topic Score Remarks
Plugins 1 Not supported
API-interface 1 Not supported
(Outlook) agenda 1 Not supported
AI / LMM 1 Not supported
Topic Score Remarks
Experience smartphone 1 Feels immature and limited, not suitable for a power user.
Experience laptop 1 Feels immature and limited, not suitable for a power user.
Deal-breakers 1 Almost everything

Sources

  1. https://zapier.com/blog/google-keep-vs-evernote/
  2. https://support.google.com/docs/thread/8642562/google-keep-has-told-me-the-label-limit-has-been-reached-surely-there-can-t-be-a-limit-on-them?hl=en
  3. https://support.google.com/docs/thread/173013037/why-do-my-google-keep-notes-keep-disappearing-over-time?hl=en
  4. https://www.reddit.com/r/googlehome/comments/v1j2zi/found_out_there_is_a_1000item_limit_in_keep_list/
  5. https://www.cloudwards.net/google-keep-review/
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